The effect of anoxia and anaerobia on ciliate community in biological nutrient removal systems using laboratory-scale sequencing batch reactors (SBRs)
Item Type:Journal Article
Citation:Dubber, D., Gray, N.F., The effect of anoxia and anaerobia on ciliate community in biological nutrient removal systems using laboratory-scale sequencing batch reactors (SBRs), Water Research, 45, 6, 2011, 2213 - 2226
The effect of anoxia and anaerobia on ciliate community in biological nutrient removal systems using laboratory-scale sequencing batch reactors (SBRs).pdf (Published (author's copy) - Peer Reviewed) 263.4Kb
Little is known about the effect of anaerobic and anoxic stages on the protozoan community in the activated sludge process and how this subsequently affects performance. Using a laboratory-scale BNR system the effect of different periods of anoxia on both the protozoan community and performance efficiency have been examined. Four SBRs were operated at two cycles per day using a range of combined anoxic/anaerobic periods (0, 60, 120 to 200 min). Effluent quality (TOC, BOD, TP, TN, NH4-N, NO3-N and NO2-N), sludge settleability and ciliate community (species diversity and abundance) were analyzed over a periods of up to 24 days of operation. The species richness and total abundance of ciliates were found to decrease with longer anoxic/anaerobic periods. Both, positive and negative significant correlations between the abundance of certain species and the period of anoxia was observed (e.g. Opercularia microdiscum, Epicarchesium granulatum), although other species (i.e. Acineria uncinata, Epistylis sp.) were unaffected by exposure to anoxia. In the laboratory-scale units, the 60 minute anoxic/anaerobic period resulted in good process performance (TOC and BOD removal of 97 to 98% respectively), nitrification (80-90%), denitrification (52%) but poor levels of biological P removal (12%); with the protozoan community moderately affected but still diverse with high abundances. Increasing the length of anoxia to up to 200 min did not enhance denitrification although P removal rates increased to between 22-33%; however, ciliate species richness and total abundance both decreased and sludge settleability became poorer. The study shows that activated sludge ciliate protozoa display a range of tolerances to anoxia that result in altered ciliate communities depending on the length of combined anoxic/anaerobic periods within the treatment process. It is recommended that anoxic/anaerobic periods should be optimized to sustain the protozoan community while achieving maximum performance and nutrient removal.
Type of material:Journal Article
Series/Report no:Water Research
Availability:Full text available